Bishop George Anathil SVD
BISHOP GEORGE MARIAN ANATHIL SVD, was born at Athirampuzha, Kottayam, Kerala on June 28, 1932 as the fifth child of Late Mr. Devasia Joseph and Mariam Joseph. He had one brother and four sisters. Listening to the call of God, he joined the SVD minor seminary in 1951. After the novitiate he took his first vows in 1953. He had his seminary studies of philosophy and theology at the Pontifical Atheneum, Pune where he obtained his doctorate in theology. He was ordained priest on 2nd October, 1959.
He worked at Divine Word Seminary, Pune as a formator from 1960 to 1965. Then he returned to Indore and joined as a teacher and later as the prefect at the Catholic Ashram, Palda. In 1969, he proceeded to Rome and USA for further studies. He returned to India in 1971 and was appointed as the Rector of Palda Seminary. During the time of his Rectorship, he served as the Vicar General of the diocese for a short term. He was consecrated as the second bishop of Indore on 29th June, 1973.
To foster various apostolates in the diocese, he brought many religious congregations with different charisms. Bishop Anathil introduced inculturation in the liturgy. To realize the vision and mission of the diocese as the communion of communities, he initiated forming of small Christian and human communities based on Gospel values. His vision was to make the diocese a self reliant, self supporting and self propagating community.
In order to have faster development and better administration, he initiated the process for the establishment of Khandwa and Jhabua dioceses from the original territory of Indore diocese. Promotion of the local vocations and evangelization were his priorities. He established a minor seminary for the diocese and was one of the founding fathers of the M.P. Regional Seminary. He served as the Chairman of the CBCI Commission and FABC Office for Social Communications.
Though hard working and used to undertake a lot of travelling, he maintained good health till his spinal operation on 7th March, 2007. After the operation he could not recover and was almost bedridden for the last two years of his life. He retired on 24th October, 2008 and entrusted the responsibility to his successor and dedicated more time in prayer and reading.
On 2nd May 2009, at about 9.30 PM, he left for his heavenly abode following a cardiac respiratory arrest.